Martin Lampen's Sausage in a Basket

Chiswick author chronicles the joys and tragedies of British food

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"Though I scrub-up reasonably well in the flesh, even the kindest photography makes me look like Lee Harvey Oswald."


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Chiswick's Martin Lampen was born in 1973. And in none of the four decades in which he's lived and dined in Britain has he eaten a single truly great meal.

Is it because we Brits regard any artificial drink with pineapple or mango flavouring as ‘tropical’? Could it be something to do with our penchant for crinkle-cut crisps? And just why are British breadcrumbs yellow in a way that no natural substance is? Branded posh as a child for having a Club biscuit and a Mint Viscount in his packed lunch, Martin Lampen cannot promise to answer all of these complex cultural questions, but what he does give us is an indispensable and laugh-out-loud-funny A-Z guide to the not-so-wondrous world of British cuisine.

All the joys and tragedies of British food are in here, from railway buffet cars and all you can eat £5.99 buffets (have you no shame?) to coronation chicken and fruits of the forest. The book also contains tips on how to digest a scotch egg, how to converse at a dinner party, how to survive the annual family barbecue and what to order in a 'hummus bar'.

Sausage in a Basket is a nostalgic and irreverent look at British cuisine past and present in all its flavourless, stodgy splendour. It is released on 1st October 2007 by Bloomsbury Publishing.

Martin told "Sausage In A Basket: The Great British Guide of How Not to Eat an autobiographical guide to British cuisine - the good, certainly, but mainly the bad and ugly. The book contains many Chiswick references and to support it, I've just launched the website

"Over the coming months, as part of my online food journal I'll be posting my guide to eating in Britain, including references to Chiswick's varied food scene."

August 31, 2007